• Solar boom prompts national standard update
    Industry News December 16, 2021 Solar boom prompts national standard update
    Standards Australia has released a revised standard for solar energy in order to support growing demand and the rapid uptake of solar photovoltaics (PV). The revised standard, AS/NZS 5033:2021, Installation and safety requirements for photovoltaic (PV) arrays, addresses safe practices for consumers and industry professionals. Head of Standards Development at Standards Australia, Roland Terry-Lloyd, said, “With millions of solar PV panel systems being installed across Australia, clear and relevant standards are paramount in supporting safe practice for industry professionals, homeowners and businesses.” The standard sets out general installation and safety requirements for electrical installations of PV arrays, including direct current (DC) array wiring, electrical protection devices, switching and earthing provisions. The standard has been restructured to promote better readability, supporting users in meeting compliance requirements. AS/NZS 5033:2014 will remain current for six months, and after this time it will be superseded by AS/NZS 5033:2021. The updating of requirements for micro inverter installations and DC conditioning units will enable greater use of technology across larger panels, supporting better safety outcomes. Committee El-042 assessed different requirements around the world against Australian conditions, identified achievable safety outcomes, and determined a number of different solutions that industry can choose to best suit their installations. EL-042 Co-Chair, Sandy Atkins, said, “At the time the 2014 standard was written, solar panels were at most 250W per panel, but technology is quickly changing, and it’s not unusual for panels to be greater than 400W. “Therefore, AS/NZS 5033:2014 was limiting for installation professionals. “If you still want to use DC isolators then you can, but if you don’t, the standard allows for other solutions such as disconnection points.” Australia previously had a limitation of 600V for panels for houses but recently aligned with international requirements of 1000V. Additionally, AS/NZS 5033:2021 also aligns with international standard IEC 62548:2016, Photovoltaic (PV) arrays — Design requirements. “Solar is booming worldwide, so it’s important we align with international standards so that the Australian market can use international products and technologies as well,” Mr Atkins said. Source from:
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  • Germany deployed 4.42 GW of PV in first ten months of 2021
    Industry News December 02, 2021 Germany deployed 4.42 GW of PV in first ten months of 2021
    Germany deployed around 411.9 MW of new PV capacity in October, according to the latest figures from federal network agency the Bundesnetzagentur. The country’s cumulative installed solar PV capacity has now reached 56.9 GW. This compares to 406.4 MW in September this year, and 421 MW in October 2020. In the first ten months of 2021, developers connected over 4.4 GW of solar to the grid, compared to 3.92 GW in the same period a year earlier. The country's cumulative solar capacity topped 56.9 GW at the end of September. The German PV market keeps being driven by the segments for installations not exceeding 750 kW in size, which last month achieved a newly-installed PV capacity of 304 MW. Of this capacity, around 292 MW comes from rooftop PV arrays while the remaining share is represented by small-sized solar parks. The Bundesnetzagentur also published new feed-in tariffs which will begin this month. The monthly decrease of solar subsidies remains at 1.4% while fixed feed-in tariffs for rooftop systems will range between €0.07693/kWh and €0.0527/kWh, depending on system size. Source from:
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  • South Africa Receives $8.5 Billion to Accelerate their Transition to Clean Energy
    Industry News November 19, 2021 South Africa Receives $8.5 Billion to Accelerate their Transition to Clean Energy
    A ground-breaking political declaration among South Africa, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the EU, was made in the ongoing COP26 conference in Glasgow to support South Africa with an accelerated “just energy transition”. The declaration on this new ambitious, long-term Just Energy Transition Partnership will support South Africa’s decarbonization efforts by providing financial aid of USD 8.5 billion, with an aim to achieve the target presented in its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) emissions goals. The initial commitment of the amount can be available over the next 3-5 years through various mechanisms including multilateral and bilateral grants, concessional loans, investments, including mobilizing the private sector. On this occasion, President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “South Africa welcomes the commitment made in the Political Declaration to supporting the implementation of our revised Nationally Determined Contribution, which represents our country’s ambitious effort to support the global battle against climate change. “We look forward to a long-term partnership that can serve as an appropriate model of support for climate action from developed to developing countries, recognizing the importance of a just transition to a low carbon, climate-resilient society that promotes employment and livelihoods.” The partnership looks forward to preventing up to 1-1.5 gigatonnes of emissions over the next 20 years duration and assisting South Africa to move away from coal and accelerate its transition towards a clean, climate-resilient economy. The financial support will help it to accelerate investment in renewable energy and the development of new sectors like electric vehicles and green hydrogen, and ensure Eskom acquires funds to re-purpose its coal-fired power stations due to be decommissioned in the next 15 years. It is also required to use the fund to ensure communities dependent on coal mining or coal power stations for jobs have greener alternatives to make a living as part of that process. Source from:
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  • Solar cheapest form of new power in major markets as new tech drives costs lower, states WoodMac
    Industry News November 05, 2021 Solar cheapest form of new power in major markets as new tech drives costs lower, states WoodMac
    Solar is now cheapest form of new electricity in a host of international markets, driven by cost reductions and growth of bifaciality, large-area solar modules and trackers. That is the conclusion of a new report released by analysts Wood Mackenzie, which also forecasts that the cost of solar PV could fall by a further 25% in the next decade. The report, dubbed ‘Total eclipse: How falling costs will secure solar’s dominance in power’, states solar to be the cheapest form of new power generation in markets including Spain, Italy, India and 16 US states. Over the course of the next decade, the list of countries where solar will become dominant will increase to include every US state, Canada, China and 14 other nations, the report claims. It points to the fact that the cost of solar has fallen by 90% over the last two decade and is forecast to fall by a further 15% – 25% by 2030. These cost reductions will occur at the same time several technologies – bifacial panels, large-area cells and modules and trackers – combine to boost the output of deployed solar across the globe. In addition to these technologies, advancements in operational technologies and automated processes will help reduce operational expenditure of new sites, further optimising solar’s cost benefit over other asset classes. WoodMac has also stressed that its outlook only factored in technologies that have been demonstrably commercialised and are being deployed today. Further innovations and technological breakthroughs in next-generation solar technologies could provide even further upside to its outlook. “As the world strives to recover from the economic slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and simultaneously meet the climate and environmental goals of the Paris Agreement, solar is uniquely placed to advance efforts towards a low-carbon, sustainable future,” Ravi Manghani, research director at WoodMac, said. The research house has, however, warned about the risk of solar becoming a victim of its own success. Price cannibalisation has long been a concern of solar developers and asset holders, and the report states falls in wholesale power prices – triggered by the influx of zero marginal cost renewables on national grids – could dent profitability. Furthermore, that risk could have a negative impact on investment appetite, which WoodMac regards as a potential limiting factor to solar’s rise, alongside electric transmission capacity and the development of battery technologies, the latter considered critical to facilitating greater proliferation of solar, as attested to by the fact numerous developers and utilities now hold battery storage pipelines. “Once a niche technology in the off-grid space, solar is now one of the cheapest, most efficient and easily deployable means of generating electricity,” Manghani added. WoodMac’s report follows a slew of other forecasts from industry analysts, all of which predict a staggering period of growth for solar PV over the coming years. Earlier t...
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  • Indonesia to install 4.7GW of solar by 2030 under decarbonisation plan
    Industry News October 09, 2021 Indonesia to install 4.7GW of solar by 2030 under decarbonisation plan
    Indonesia is aiming to deploy an additional 4,680MW of solar by 2030 as part of efforts to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2060. Energy minister Arifin Tasrif said a new 2021-2030 master plan will see Indonesia source 51.6% of its added power capacity by the end of the decade from renewables, while the remainder will be new fossil fuel plants. Speaking during a virtual presentation today (Tuesday), Tasrif said the country’s projected annual increase in electricity demand over the next decade has been lowered to 4.9%, down from a previous estimate of 6.4%, due to the pandemic impacting economic growth. To reach the goals included in the master plan, the government expects independent power producers to play a larger role in the development of renewables projects over the coming years. Tasrif also said that the government will encourage the development of interconnection between Indonesia’s main islands to improve electricity reliability and increase renewables penetration. The strong potential for Indonesia’s solar sector was revealed in a report published in July by Wood Mackenzie, which suggested the country may become the fastest-growing PV market in the Asia Pacific region by end of the decade. Growing from a base of 300MW, the country’s solar capacity could reach 8.5GW by 2030, according to the research firm, which said the PV sector could be supported by a US$600 million loan from the Asian Development Bank to help Indonesia’s state-owned power company PLN expand electricity access and promote renewables in eastern Indonesia. PLN’s solar development efforts have already seen it form a joint venture with Masdar to construct a 145MWac floating solar project at a reservoir in West Java. The partners recently reached financial close for the Cirata plant, which is now under construction and due to begin commercial operation by the end of 2022. Singapore-based solar developer Sunseap Group also revealed plans to develop what it says will be the world’s largest floating solar project on Indonesia’s Batam Island. The 2.2GWp installation plant is slated for completion in 2024, when it will provide energy locally as well as potentially to Singapore via a subsea cable.
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  • Bangladesh inaugurates largest solar rooftop
    Industry News September 28, 2021 Bangladesh inaugurates largest solar rooftop
    Source: A Bangladeshi government minister has announced 40% of the nation's electricity will come from renewables by 2041. Junior power minister Nasrul Hamid made the declaration yesterday, at an inauguration ceremony for Bangladesh's largest solar rooftop, a $16 million, 16 MW array in Chittagong. The government in March said it would reformulate its renewables policy after it fell well short of a target to generate 10% of its electricity from clean power by last year. Around 3% of Bangladesh's power came from clean sources at that point. “Renewable energy will be the main source of energy in the future,” the minister said on Sunday, emphasizing the benefits offered by commercial solar rooftops. “The share of renewable energy is increasing in [the] fuel mix,” said Hamid, in part thanks to the rising popularity of net-metered solar arrays like the one installed at an export processing zone owned by Korean clothing and textiles company Youngone Corporation. Export processing zones are areas with less onerous customs and tax charges where manufacturing takes place solely for export. The minister said plans to expand the Chittagong array to 40 MW next year would encourage other businesses to follow suit. The politician stressed, however, that the big land requirements of large scale, ground-mounted solar plants would mean wind, tidal and energy-from-waste facilities would also have big roles to play in reaching the government's 2041 target. Youngone Corporation intends to expand its Chittagong project to around 40 MW of generation capacity, with 4.3 MW due to come online before November and the balance expected next year. The intention is for all 34 factories at the Youngone export processing zone to be powered entirely by the eventual 40 MW of solar capacity. With the rooftop array net-metered, any excess power generated will be exported to the grid. Lee Jang-Keun, South Korean ambassador to Bangladesh, said of the rooftop array: “This is how businesses can get along with nature and reduce the threat of climate change.” Bangladesh has around 746 MW of renewable energy generation capacity and the first stage of the Chittagong array has taken the nation to 40.72 MW of net-metered rooftop solar.
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  • Solar installation Snapshot 2020
    Industry News September 16, 2021 Solar installation Snapshot 2020
    Source: Global solar installation in 2020 Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, preliminary reported market data shows that the global PV market again grew significantly in 2020. At least 139,4 GWdc of PV systems have been installed and commissioned in the world last year. The total cumulative installed capacity for PV at the end of 2020 reached at least 760,4 GWdc. While these data will have to be confirmed in the coming months, some important trends can already be extracted: The Chinese PV market went back to a market level it experienced in 2017, after two years in a row of market slowdown. In 2020, 48,2 GW of PV were installed, compared to 43,4 GW in 2018 and 30,1 GW in 2019. China remains the leader in terms of cumulative capacity with 253,4 GW installed, almost one third of the global PV installed capacity. Outside of China, the global PV market grew from 79,2 GW in 2019, to at least 90 GW in 2020, a 14% increase year on year. The European Union installed close to 19,6 GW and the rest of Europe added around 2,6 GW. The largest European market in 2020 was Germany (4,9 GW), followed by the Netherlands (3,0 GW), Spain (2,8 GW), Poland (2,6 GW), Belgium (1,0 GW) and France (0,9 GW). The US market saw its market increasing to 19,2 GW; a new record, with utility-scale installations accounting for about 73% of the new additions. Vietnam takes the fourth place with an impressive annual installation of 11 GW. Japan ranks fifth, with an estimated 8,2 GW annual installed capacity. Some other key markets contributed significantly to new additions in 2020, such as India (close to 5 GW, but in significant decline compared to last years), Australia (4,1 GW), Korea (4,1 GW), Brazil (3,1 GW), Taiwan (1,7 GW), Mexico (1,5 GW), followed by the Philippines (1,1 GW) and South-Africa (1,0 GW). Preliminary numbers show to Mexico and South Africa could have installed close to 1 GW as well. Among the top 10 countries, there are now six Asia-Pacific countries (Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and Vietnam), two European countries (Germany and the Netherlands) and two countries in the Americas (Brazil and the USA). The level to enter the top 10 global markets in 2020 was around 3,0 GW; a stable level compared to 2019 and twice the level needed in 2018. The top 10 countries represented around 78% of the global annual PV market, a slight increase compared to 2019. However, compared to previous years, the market is still showing a decreasing market concentration trend. Honduras, Australia, Germany, Greece, Chile, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Israel, Belgium, India, China, and Turkey now have enough PV capacity to theoretically produce more than 5% of their annual electricity demand with PV. PV represents around 3,7% of the global electricity demand. The contribution of PV to decarbonizing the energy mix is progressing, with PV saving as much as 875 million tons of CO2eq. However, much remains to be done to fully...
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  • South Korea deployed 4.1 GW of solar in 2020
    Industry News August 30, 2021 South Korea deployed 4.1 GW of solar in 2020
    Last year saw a record for solar, in terms of newly deployed capacity. This year, however, growth may be limited by new regulations for project siting. South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) has estimated that around 4.1 GW of new PV systems were grid connected in the country last year. If confirmed by official statistics, this result would compare to 3.8 GW in 2019 and 2.4 GW in 2018 and would make 2020 the most successful year ever recorded by the country. At the end of December, South Korea's cumulative installed PV capacity should have reached around 15.6 GW. Last year “marked the third year after the Korean government's 20%-renewables-by-2030 plan announcement, causing a boom in solar,” Yeji Kim, researcher at Seoul-based Solutions For Our Climate, told pv magazine. “Large scale PV plants–over 1 MW [in scale]–were built in the country for the first time but, unfortunately, we could not find the exact number of installations completed in 2020.” According to her, however, this year's growth may be lower than that of 2020, as several regional administrations are limiting the development of utility scale projects through new regulations for project siting. Citing recent numbers from the Korea Energy Agency (KEA), the analyst said the newly installed PV capacity for the first quarter of this year reached 0.56 GW while, in the same period of 2020, new PV systems had totaled over 1 GW. The Korea Photovoltaic Industry Association (KOPIA) recently said it expects around 3 GW of new PV will be installed in the country this year. “Despite the record growth in South Korea's solar, renewables are still strangled, unable to grow as fast as they should,” Kim added. South Korea currently plans to install 30.8 GW of solar by 2030. This ambitious target is expected to be achieved by building giant solar parks such as a 2.1 GW floating solar project, and a 3 GW ground-mounted PV array that was announced for the Saemangeum area by South Korean president Moon Jae-in in November 2018. More recently, the South Korean government announced a plan to add another 2.1 GW of floating PV by 2030. Furthermore, the MOTIE is planning to allocate around 4 GW of solar capacity this year across two PV tenders, which will likely be launched in April and October. The ministry has also recently announced it wants to help development of unsubsidized solar by allowing domestic electricity consumers to buy power from renewable energy power producers through power purchase agreements (PPAs).
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  • Application trends of Ground-mounted utility scale solar power systems
    Industry News August 20, 2021 Application trends of Ground-mounted utility scale solar power systems
    Ground-mounted utility scale solar PV power systems continued to clearly dominate the solar space in 2019 – and this won’t change until 2024. The segment had a share of around 64% last year, which is anticipated to hike to 69% in 2021, and then remain flat at around 68% for the coming years. The slight ‘weakness‘ of utility-scale solar in 2019 is in direct relation to the market developments in China and India. Both world leading markets have been strongholds of ground-mounted PV power plants. While the termination of the feed-in tariffs for large-scale power plants in May 2018 in China resulted in immediate market contraction, it also directly had a positive impact on rooftop PV. This development continued in 2019 when solar demand in China fell even steeper. Still, close to 60% of the solar capacity added in China last year were utility-scale power plants. The other leading market that disappointed last year was India, where the bulk of the total installed capacity are ground-mounted power plants. Less PV demand in India meant less utility-scale power plants for the world. On the other hand, the United States, as the world’s No. 2 PV market, saw increasing demand in 2019, mostly driven by a year-end deadline for the 30% ITC, which primarily triggered investments in utility-scale PV capacities. However, deploying large volumes of utility-scale solar is much simpler to deploy than creating a distributed PV rooftop market, which requires a substantial period of time and a lot of effort to educate consumers, while setting up an effective platform with the right financing instruments and technical standards. That’s why emerging markets usually begin their solar chapter with tenders for utility-scale solar and frequently struggle to set up the distributed rooftop segment, even if politicians generally prefer PV on roofs which they consider the natural place for the technology as it avoids any potential conflicts on land use. A good example for such a development is India, which targets 100 GW of solar by 2022, with 40 GW coming from rooftop solar. But of the 35.7 GWAC total of solar power capacity installed by the end of 2019, only 4.4 GWAC were rooftop systems—the vast majority (88%) was utility-scale PV power plants. The Indian Government had approved 1.7 billion USD under its Sustainable Rooftop Implementation for Solar Transfiguration of India (SRISTI) programme in 2018 to accelerate the installation of rooftop solar. Instead, an economic slowdown had pulled that rooftop solar down, resulting in the first decline for the small segment in five years in India. Two relatively recent solar feed-in tariff hot-spots and new GW-scale markets, Vietnam and Ukraine, have been also focusing on utility-scale solar, whereas the European country’s net metering programme has been nurturing a small rooftop market as well. However, even the most advanced solar rooftop market, Australia, with more than 2.3 million solar homes, has recently been leaning towards uti...
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